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Dodgers Shut Down By Padres Pitching

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In his third plate appearance in the seventh inning off of San Diego Padres’ starter Dustin Moseley (W, 1-3), Andre Ethier laced a grounder down the line to first base. The ball bounced sky-high off the glove of a diving Padres’ first baseman Brad Hawpe dribbling mere feet away from Hawpe in foul territory. Hawpe got up, spun around to tried and locate the ball. Once Hawpe finally located the ball the charging Ethier had made it safely to first base.

The only question was hit or error? The official scorer Don Hartack went up to one of the television monitors, squinted, deliberated and sat back down in his seat. He brought the press box microphone up to his lips.

“Base hit,” he announced. The crowd went wild as the call was displayed on the scoreboard.

“Whatever,” Ethier said nonchalantly after the game on waiting for the ruling. “I’m not going to throw my hands up or anything like that. I’m just figuring out a way to get the job done.”

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And so Ethier’s consecutive-game hit streak lives on now at 27 just four shy of tying Willie Davis’ franchise record set in 1969.

Just as impressive were the plays Juan Uribe made at third base. Of note was a ground ball hit back to the box by Chase Headley in the fifth inning that went off the glove of Dodgers’ starter Jon Garland (W, 1-2). The ball squirted out towards third base and a charging Uribe picked the ball up and threw it to first baseman James Loney to get Headley out by a hair.

“That was a ball I probably should have let go,” Garland admitted. “But in the heat of the moment, that’s just reaction - I’m going after that ball.”

It was just all in a day’s work for Uribe.

“I’m just helping my team and helping my pitcher,” Uribe said.

Garland was a bit more amped about it.

“I tipped my cap to him. That was an unbelievable play.”

And there ends the highlights of the Dodgers 7-0 loss to the Padres.

All three runs for the Padres came in the second inning off of Dodgers’ starter Jon Garland. A lead-off walk to Nick Hundley and a string of singles to Orlando Hudson, Cameron Maybin and Hawpe - all hitting under .250 coming into the game - yielded the three runs.

“What killed me was that lead-off walk,” Garland said. “It gives them the opportunity to put that hit-and-run on. They were able to bloop a couple more hits in there that ended up scoring a couple of more.”

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Garland also got into some trouble in the third inning issuing two walks, but struck out Cameron Maybin to escape any damage.

Perhaps the most concern for the Dodgers was reserved for reliever Hong-Chih Kuo having just been activated from the disabled list for a left low back strain suffered on April 14. Having a hard time throwing a strike, he gave up a walk and two singles before hitting Will Venable with an off-speed pitch that sent him back to the pine.

“It happens,” Kuo said after confirming that he felt fine physically after the game. “I’m not perfect.”

Kuo couldn’t pinpoint anything that was wrong. “Everything I guess,” he said when asked. “I don’t know.”

With Mike MacDougal unable to stop the bleeding afterwards giving up a sacrifice fly to Jason Bartlett and a bases-clearing double to Headley, Kuo was charged with four runs in the inning.

Throughout Moseley’s seven innings armed with the cutter, he thoroughly confounded the Dodgers’ hitters.

“He stayed out of the strike zone and got ahead early,” Ethier said. “When he got ahead he was able to have guys chase.”

Uribe tipped his cap to Moseley.

“Sometimes the pitcher pitches good,” Uribe philosophized. “What are you going to do?”